This article will show the similarities and differences between Chinese and western festival culture. It will also introduce the situation of the western festival in China and the Chinese festival in western countries in order to think about how to make the festival better.
Nowadays, the main festival in China include the tradition festival and the modern festival.
The tradition one such as The Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival have long history. Most of them are about family, because in the ancient times, the war is frequent, and it is really rarity to get together.
The modern festival in China is mainly to commemorate a certain group of people or important event. Such as Children’s Day, Teachers’ Day, Labor Day, Polices’ Day, National Day.
Some western festivals have something to do with Christianity, including Christmas, Halloween, Easter. For example, Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ.
Modern festivals in the west and China are similar. They commemorate the occurrence of some important event and a group of people.
The origin is not same. China is an ancient agricultural country, and the festival is based on some agricultural activities. In the West, religion is central to society and culture, so festivals are closely associated with Christianity.
The way of celebrating festivals in China is also different. For example, on Halloween, children will dress up as ghosts and go from house to house asking for candy. The way to celebrate the festival in China is traditional and ancient. In Spring Festival, families will all together and enjoy foods, watch the CCTV New Year’ s Gala, etc. However, some way of celebrating is not very suitable for modern life, even not as fun as the ancient time. For example, in the ancient there is an festival named “March the third” or Shangsi festival before qingming festival, it only exists in Guangxi province now. In the time of Confucius, people “put on spring clothes, about five or six people, with six or seven boys, bathing in the water, blowing wind on the high slope, singing all the way back”. In the Tang Dynasty, it become one of the most important festivals, and the main activities is that people travel with friends or lover and enjoy foods and drinks beside the river. We needs more innovation to celebrate festivals.
Nowadays, western festival is popular in China. One reason is that it’s just for fun and Chinese festivals in law almost is all about family, and always connect with some meaning or tradition that may make people feel unrelaxed. Propelled by some businesses, western festivals have been localized and innovated in the 21st century. Western festivals in China are more of an opportunity to relax and find themselves.
Similarly, we can see in the news that some foreign regions are also celebrating the Spring Festival. Foreigners may not know the origin of the Spring Festival, but they want to be lively and happy. There is an English named Mr. Fushan in Lao She’s book Family of Four Generations who celebrates both Christmas and Spring Festival. The reason is simply that he thinks he can have as much fun as he wants.
Some people have said that foreign festivals are a kind of cultural invasion, an attack on tradition. If it’s true, the culture is too fragile. If the culture are afraid of a few festivals, it will die sooner or later. One important reason festivals exist is to bring happiness to people.